Wednesday, 27 June 2012

A couple of weekends ago, I rode my bike to Sapu (town 90km east of Basse). I rode all the way on my bike without incident. I never told my mother before hand as it would only have worried her, but she knows now! Thankfully the road out of Basse is finished so tarmac all the way! Believe me it makes a big difference riding on tarmac to laterite. It only took me just under 2 hours. (It’s not a very fast bike!!) One of my group of vols is posted there and it was a birthday party. Sapu is a little village beside the river and is where the Taiwanese have an agricultural project to grow rice. It is beautiful and full of wildlife. On my way u p to the highway, a group of monkeys crossed my path. It was incredible, but unfortunately I never had my camera to capture the moment. Sometimes I have ridden along the highway and passed groups of them sitting in the trees or at the side of the road. There is hardly any traffic on the highway here that they are rarely disturbed. Anyway, back to Sapu... David (birthday boy) is a fabulous cook so we were well catered for and good conversation. Sapu has also been visited by the ‘great’ man himself, President Jammeh. Infact we dined in his house on Saturday night. It was indeed a nice place, but getting slightly tatty and in need of a paint. However, it was nothing in comparison to our dwellings! They were of such beauty and comfort, the Ritz would pale beside it!!! I mean where else would you share your bedroom with a rat, actually make that 2 rats!! I was sitting in our communal area when I saw this little pink nose with whiskers poking out our bedroom. Beth and I quickly decided to vacate that room. Fortunately for Beth, but not for me, she managed to change houses completely, so Helen and I were left to keep the rats company!!

Sapu Rice Fields

The Gambia River, Sapu

Sapu Rice Fields

The rains have finally come. Although they are not coming every day at the moment. We had a heavy down pour last night. It relieves the heat for a bit but then it’s back up in no time at all. I’ve not really been up to all that much work wise recently. I was part of a Learner Centred Methodology workshop last week. The PEO ‘asked’ if I would volunteer to be part of it. Who was I to refuse! I was nothing more than a glorified Carole Vorderman, writing on the flip board. As this was to encourage teachers to be more child centred, it was rather ironic that the workshop was mostly ‘chalk & talk’.

Since then I was down in Kombos for my 3 month placement review, which I will not bore you with, but certainly did not entertain many of us! It’s hard to believe I’ve only been in Basse for just over  3 months, feels a lot longer sometimes! Obviously I had to visit the beach whilst I was there, really my arm was twisted and I was forced to lie by the ocean by some of my fellow volunteers!! It also seems that Sundays are when the Gambians come out to play. The beach was rammed full of folk playing football and volleyball. I’ve never seen a beach so busy, my photo does not capture the real extent of how busy it was.

Sunday at the beach

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